Family of man held captive in neighbor's basement for 27 years speaks out following his rescue

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By Asiya Ali

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The family of a man who spent 27 years in his neighbor's cellar have spoken out after he was rescued.

As previously reported, a man identified as Omar B. Omran disappeared from Djelfa in Algeria when he was just 19 years old.

The victim's family feared that their loved one was kidnapped or killed during the Algerian Civil War that went on for 10 years in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he was instead being held captive in a cellar 200 yards away from the city.

On Sunday (May 12), Omran, now aged 45, was discovered at the home of his 61-year-old neighbor, a full 27 years after he went missing.

Harrowing footage shared on social media shows the moment that Omran, sporting a beard and sweater, was found in what seems to be a hole in the ground.

The blurry video reveals torchlights shining into a pit surrounded by hay as the man, with a desperate look on his face, lifts his head in shock at the search party surrounding him.

According to Algerian media, Omran was located after his captor’s brother aired grievances on social media, reportedly due to an inheritance dispute. 

This prompted his family to storm the house in a desperate attempt to find him. When he was finally discovered, the alleged suspect, a 61-year-old doorman in the nearby town of El Guedid, was arrested after trying to flee.

Watch the chilling footage below:

Omran's family spent almost three decades trying to figure out what happened to their beloved relative.

It was reported that the victim's mother died in 2013 without ever having answers to her son's abduction. Her last wish was: “Please, do not stop searching for Omar. I am sure he is still alive,” per Algerian outlets.

Now, other members of Omran's family have spoken on his release. His cousin Khaled Reggab told Echorouk News that Omran's health was good but that he wasn't used to being outside.

"I have no information about him but according to what I saw his health condition is good, it is not critical," he said. "His psychological state is shocked, and more than shocked, he is afraid, especially since he was detained, meaning he is not accustomed to being [outside].

"Omar is still under therapeutic and psychological care at this minute. I see [his family] in a catastrophic shock," he added.

The alleged captor has been detained after trying to flee. Credit: Marcia Straub / Getty

Omran's alleged kidnapper has also been accused of murdering his dog with poison.

It is also believed that Omran never called for help about his abduction because he was reportedly convinced that his captor put him under some kind of spell.

A court official in Djelfa was quoted as saying: "The Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered that the victim receive medical and psychological treatment, and the suspect will be presented to the Public Prosecutor’s Office immediately after the completion of the investigation."

They pledged that the "perpetrator of this heinous crime" will be tried with "severity," per Metro.

Featured image credit: 4x6 / Getty

Family of man held captive in neighbor's basement for 27 years speaks out following his rescue

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The family of a man who spent 27 years in his neighbor's cellar have spoken out after he was rescued.

As previously reported, a man identified as Omar B. Omran disappeared from Djelfa in Algeria when he was just 19 years old.

The victim's family feared that their loved one was kidnapped or killed during the Algerian Civil War that went on for 10 years in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he was instead being held captive in a cellar 200 yards away from the city.

On Sunday (May 12), Omran, now aged 45, was discovered at the home of his 61-year-old neighbor, a full 27 years after he went missing.

Harrowing footage shared on social media shows the moment that Omran, sporting a beard and sweater, was found in what seems to be a hole in the ground.

The blurry video reveals torchlights shining into a pit surrounded by hay as the man, with a desperate look on his face, lifts his head in shock at the search party surrounding him.

According to Algerian media, Omran was located after his captor’s brother aired grievances on social media, reportedly due to an inheritance dispute. 

This prompted his family to storm the house in a desperate attempt to find him. When he was finally discovered, the alleged suspect, a 61-year-old doorman in the nearby town of El Guedid, was arrested after trying to flee.

Watch the chilling footage below:

Omran's family spent almost three decades trying to figure out what happened to their beloved relative.

It was reported that the victim's mother died in 2013 without ever having answers to her son's abduction. Her last wish was: “Please, do not stop searching for Omar. I am sure he is still alive,” per Algerian outlets.

Now, other members of Omran's family have spoken on his release. His cousin Khaled Reggab told Echorouk News that Omran's health was good but that he wasn't used to being outside.

"I have no information about him but according to what I saw his health condition is good, it is not critical," he said. "His psychological state is shocked, and more than shocked, he is afraid, especially since he was detained, meaning he is not accustomed to being [outside].

"Omar is still under therapeutic and psychological care at this minute. I see [his family] in a catastrophic shock," he added.

The alleged captor has been detained after trying to flee. Credit: Marcia Straub / Getty

Omran's alleged kidnapper has also been accused of murdering his dog with poison.

It is also believed that Omran never called for help about his abduction because he was reportedly convinced that his captor put him under some kind of spell.

A court official in Djelfa was quoted as saying: "The Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered that the victim receive medical and psychological treatment, and the suspect will be presented to the Public Prosecutor’s Office immediately after the completion of the investigation."

They pledged that the "perpetrator of this heinous crime" will be tried with "severity," per Metro.

Featured image credit: 4x6 / Getty